Is It Cheaper to Build a Container Home, or Find a Shipping Container For Sale?

  • Looking for a cozy, economical home? If so, a shipping container home may be the way to go...

It should come as no surprise to find that individuals and businesses are always looking for ways to make life easier. These innovations come in many forms, but arguably the most recognizable is the shipping container. The containers are some of the most sought after only as a convenient way of transporting goods. They also double as a cheaper way of building homes and business centers and this is very much the case in Miami.

Having access to them is possible in two main ways: building them from scratch or buying one that has already been used. Of course, this brings us to the above question, which has an answer that goes through many facets before being revealed. So, if you are trying to check out shipping containers for sale Miami from such companies as Pelican Containers, or are looking to build one, the following is the guide you need.

Finding a proper solution

Irrespective of whether you want to look at shipping containers for sale in Miami or are trying to use them to build something, finding the right one is the first step. This is arguably the most important step because it sets the tone for what you want to have or customize.

On your way to finding the container, there are quite a few things that you should consider and these are the containers:

  • size
  • general condition
  • age
  • repair history

These above points always play a role in how the goods are priced. With all these things known, you have a much clearer picture of what you want and how much you are willing to spend.

This brings us to the element of research on your part. If you are buying from a dealer or someone private, you can either look them up on the internet or have them send pictures. That said, nothing is more valuable than inspecting the merchandise yourself and ensuring that it meets your standards.

Building out of a shipping container

Building anything out of a shipping container is the other way of going about things and is much more complex. It encompasses a few more steps, one of which is the aforementioned finding of the main base. These steps include:

  • finding and purchasing land
  • building a foundation
  • finding and purchasing one or two containers
  • making basic installation works (insulation, amenities, etc.)

How you can build it

Each of these steps costs money, but there is some range as to how things are going to be priced. The aspect of the land, for example, had to take into account the general national price of land which always changes.

In addition to this, a city like Miami has many spots that are considered to be prime real estate. These areas always cost more per acre.

We have already discussed how containers vary in price for whatever reason as well as how to approach buying them through inspections, which usually turn out well. With that out of the way, you can get into the building of your home, business or another facility. This requires laying out the foundation and adding all necessary amenities and luxuries.

Which is more affordable?

When it comes to this specific question, you would probably guess that finding and purchasing a ready-made shipping container is more affordable. If this is the case, you would be right. To understand why the following lays it out:

Standard containers

The price of containers is determined by factors we have already talked about and each one has a range. For example, the regular 40ft containers generally cost between $4,000 and $9,000, while the smaller 20ft ones cost between $3,000 and $7,000.

These variations also take into account the other factors that are related to age and state. The better the condition, the more expensive the containers are. There is also the fact that the typical version will not always be asked for. Alternatives such as the equally popular 40ft by 40ft and its 20ft counterpart cost hundreds of dollars more. The same conditions concerning the state also apply in their case.

Once the aspect of delivery is added to the overall expenses, the tally will generally increase by about $3,000. This does depend on the type of cargo that is being hauled.

Building process

Building anything out of a shipping container will unsurprisingly cost you more because each step does not come for free. For starters, buying land in the US will generally require close to $3,500 and this is on the low end. When you add everything up including the container’s cost and the addition of the foundation and the interior, you are talking upwards of $100,000.

The high-end number is only if multiple containers are used and if everything is of high quality. This, of course, isn’t the most affordable option, and most people going down this road go for the serviceable, bare minimum. This is usually around $10,000 to $36,000.

Still, this is a lot of money and does seem daunting, especially if you have no idea how to manage such a project. In this case, you can always buy something that’s already furnished. The average cost of this is quite a bit higher with a price range between $20,000 and $50,000. Having multiple containers will run you up even more and the price of delivering these to you is going to be similar.

Final thoughts

Now that you know just about everything necessary to get into buying and building containers and respective structures, you can approach it with confidence. That said, doing things in any of these ways may seem like a tough time. However, building your typical house from scratch is an even larger and more expensive undertaking.

As such, the popularity of containers being used as houses or as building blocks should surprise no one. So, if you are in Miami and are looking for containers to store or to build upon, you are well equipped to get on with it.